Would You Want This To Be Your Country's New Flag?

Update: New Zealand confirmed Tuesday that Kyle Lockwood's Silver Fern design was the preliminary winner in its first referendum on whether to replace its current national flag. The Silver Fern design will compete against New Zealand's current flag in a second referendum in March.

This story was originally published on December 11, 2015.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.
Next March, New Zealand will vote on whether to adopt a new design to replace its current national flag. On Friday, a poll from the country's electoral commission found that residents favor a proposed new design over the current banner.

The "Silver Fern (Black, White, and Blue)" flag, designed by Kyle Lockwood, an architect in Melbourne, Australia, is leading the race, according to the preliminary poll. New Zealand's current flag, meanwhile, is red, white, and blue, and it features the Union Jack, along with stars from the Southern Cross constellation. Lockwood's design incorporates the Southern Cross, but a fern leaf replaces the Union Jack.

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, has supported the efforts to replace the national flag. Key believes the current banner is too similar to the Australian flag and that New Zealand should remove the Union Jack emblem.

Lockwood's design was announced Friday as the preliminary winner in New Zealand's first referendum on the flag. The full results will be revealed on Tuesday, when overseas votes have been accounted for, BBC News explains. During the first referendum, New Zealand residents voted on five different flag designs, and about 48% of eligible voters weighed in during the referendum.

The second referendum, meanwhile, will be held in March, when residents will decide whether or not to replace the flag for good. The flag-replacement process will cost about NZ$27 million, or about $18 million in U.S. dollars, according to BBC News.

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